The Obama Trials

Dual focus

09 November 2017

The DOJ’s simultaneous prosecutions of Aetna/Humana and Anthem/Cigna Throughout Barack Obama’s presidency, both antitrust agencies focused a great deal of their time and work on the healthcare industry. This was due to myriad factors, perhaps the most significant being the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which resulted in new industry collaboration and combination. The FTC also brought crucial antitrust cases against so-called “pay-for-delay” patent settlement deals in the pharmaceutical industry that, the government alleged, protected expensive drug brands from more affordable generic competition. Those cases culminated in the Supreme Court’s decision in Actavis, which exposed those patent settlement deals to antitrust scrutiny in courts around the country. The Actavis case remains one of the most important courtroom victories for either antitrust agency over the past decade, and it created case law that allowed several subsequent pay-for-delay challenges to go forward in court.